Several SpaceX employees who were fired after a letter was circulated critical of founder and CEO Elon Musk have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming the company violated labor laws.
The fired workers include authors of a letter sent to SpaceX executives describing how Musk's actions on Twitter and recent allegations of sexual harassment against him are negatively affecting SpaceX's reputation.
The letter, first reported by The Verge, was sent weeks after allegations surfaced that Musk paid $250,000 to a flight attendant to quash a potential sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Musk, who owns Twitter and is the CEO of Tesla, has denied the allegations.
Five employees were fired the day after the letter went out in June, with four more being fired within the next two months, The Hill reported, citing the employees' attorneys.
"Part of what was supposed to be so great about SpaceX was that any person at any level could escalate issues to leadership and be taken seriously and treated with respect," former employee Paige Holland-Thielen said in a statement, according to The Hill.
"We drafted the letter to communicate to the executive staff on their terms and show how their lack of action created tangible barriers to the long-term success of the mission. We never imagined that SpaceX would fire us for trying to help the company succeed."
A representative of the company didn't immediately respond Thursday to requests for comment about the labor filing, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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